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Self Esteem And Self Confidence: Two Different Things

Self Confidence and self esteem are two different concepts, two separate parts of who and how you are in the world. You can be very self confident in many areas of your life and yet suffer from low self esteem.


Self esteem is how you feel about yourself. You alone make you feel good about yourself. You alone make you feel bad about yourself.

As a psychotherapist I heard people blame others for putting them down and destroying their self esteem. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You cannot keep a good man down without his permissions.”

No one has any power over you and no one can tell you how to feel about yourself. If someone makes a remark that you choose to interpret as hurtful or a put-down realize that you chose to take in the remark that way.

What if, in doing or saying what they did, that person had no idea you would assign the meaning you did and feel hurt? What if that person had zero intention of putting you or anything about you down?

Chances are that what I just proposed is accurate. Very few people speak with an intention to hurt others. Sure, there are some people who feel so bad about themselves they attempt to make themselves feel better by potting others down thinking that makes them superior. Of course that is their belief system (BS) and has no basis in reality.

Plain and simple, like everything else in your life, you totally create and control how you feel about you. In any moment, if you catch yourself beating yourself up or putting yourself down you can catch yourself and replace those thoughts with others that empower you to feel good about being you.

Self confidence is all about how well you feel you do the tasks you perform. When you know you do something well you have high self confidence. When you know you possess certain talents you feel very confident in those areas of your life.

Can you see that a person can be very self confident yet have low self esteem? Of course a person can perform amazing feats and suffer from both low self confidence and low self esteem.

Witness the number of celebrities (actors, sports figures, politicians) with drug problems. Most of them are very talented and very good at what they do. They clearly are very confident that they will perform well most of the time. They have high self confidence yet, if they were happy being who they are as they are, why would they turn to drugs to feel good?

People who need the adulation of others to feel good about themselves lack the self esteem that allows them to feel good about themselves just because they exist. Self esteem and self confidence are both do-it-yourself jobs.